Here at The Urban List there’s nothing we love more than a damn good secret…and we have some more to share. With the warmer months ahead of us, and epic sunsets to be watched, what good would we be if we didn’t help you out from time to time with local intel?
We’ve done the scouting, the climbing, the viewing, and found some secret lookout spots that we probably shouldn’t tell you about. We apologise in advance if your favourite local spot appears on here.
Stanley Point Cyril Bassett Lookout
One of Devonport’s best-kept secrets (sorry for spilling the beans), Stanley Point Cyril Bassett Lookout may be a mouthful to say, but your mouth will be gaping when you watch the sunset from here. It’s the perfect spot to watch the city lights up as the sun says goodbye for the day. Drive past Stanley Bay Park until you get to the end of the road, park up and place yourself on the seat provided.
Found at the end of Bayswater Marina, O’Neills Point is another spot to view the city. Long gone are the days of sharing the car park with others at the top of Mt Vic or North Head—once you park in the marina you can walk along to find your own grassy patch to catch the last of the rays.
Residing in Northcote Point, Halls Beach is hidden from the average eye. Park your car next Bridgeway Cinemas, and then be on your way to find the hidden path. You’ll probably have to fight your way through palms and Pohutukawa trees to get to destination X. But, once you get there, you’ll be greeted with the perfect spot to have a picnic, go for a dip and watch the city continue to do its thing.
Kauri Point Centennial Park
Drive further along from Northcote Point and you’ll find Birkenhead. Here lies another hidden gem—Kendall Bay—if you must know! Kauri Point Centennial Park is located next to the Chelsea Sugar Works building, and there are a bunch of tracks covered in native bush. Find the right one and you’ll end up at the secluded Kendall Bay.
Waiake Bay in Torbay is hot spot for North Shore locals, with a pontoon to race your mates to, and “The Tor”, providing a rocky point to explore. However, few know that if you drive past Waiake Bay you will end up at a secluded bay—Winstones Cove. It’s an epic spot to have a secret nude swim, enjoy a picnic and there may or may not be a rope swing for jumping…
Some of you may be sick of all the shore spots, so we’ll move to the city side. Wairangi Wharf is just around the corner from Sentinel Beach in Herne Bay, also known as Home Bay. Trust us when we say this is one epic sunset spot! You may not be looking at the city in all its bright glory but you’re in prime position for the sun to set right in front of you.
You may be surprised to hear this gem is in Glendowie. Only accessible by foot, keep an eye out for a track along Peacock Street and you may just stumble upon the beach. The hidden beach has views looking out to the Hauraki Gulf.
Located along the Manukau Harbour is Awhitu Peninsula, with views to stun. Walk up to the tip of the peninsula and you’ll find yourself at the Manukau Heads Lighthouse, looking out to the Tasman Sea crashing on the black sand beaches.
East Auckland offers up some of the best views (hellooo Halfmoon Bay and Bucklands Beach). If you’re in Howick, then head along the local golf club where you have a spectacular treat ahead—and no, it’s not hitting white balls around the green. Follow the road towards the course and you’ll find a small parking bay. Hop out of your car and walk towards what used to be a radio station building…walk around it and you’ll find a steep path. Follow it, and you’ll come to a clearing with a truly magnificent view of Rangitoto and Browns Island. Trust us, your head will clear and your heart will sing. Follow the steps down to the secluded beach to make a day of it.
Take the track less travel next time you visit Muriwai’s famous gannet colony. Don’t worry about packing your hiking shoes for this one, the Muriwai Lookout Track is less than 1km long (although you will be climbing a steep stairway). You’ll walk through coastal bush before reaching a lookout platform that boasts incredible views of Muriwai Beach and beyond. It’s a great spot for lunch or to watch a spectacular West Coast sunset.